Art

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Art

Loose Threads Dangle in Bright, Bold Gradients in HOTTEA's Kaleidoscopic Installations

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“John Candy,” Houston. All images © HOTTEA, shared with permission

Suspended from gallery ceilings or strung across an open courtyard, innumerable lengths of yarn comprise the chromatic installations by artist Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA (previously). He arranges the soft textiles in concentric circles or wide gradients that stretch from wall to wall, creating vibrant fields of color that shift in composition depending on the perspective. Most reflect the artist’s memories or experiences, and in recent years, he’s installed site-specific pieces in cities like Minneapolis, Houston, and Miami.

The tri-colored “Strangers” is HOTTEA’s largest outdoor work to date and was designed for Breve Festival in Belo Horizonte. Drawing on his encounters in the Brazilian city, the massive, uplifting work measures 100 feet long and 30 feet wide, with the individual yarns extending 13 feet. “The word ‘stranger’ often times has a negative connotation,” he shares on Instagram. “I liked the idea of referring to a stranger as a positive thing.”

Currently, HOTTEA is working on several installations for locations in Los Angeles, New York City, and Far Rockaway, New York. He’s also organizing a flash fashion show and collaborative project to create temporary pieces throughout his community in the Twin Cities.

 

“Algebra,” SCOPE, Miami

“John Candy,” Houston

Detail of “Haus,” Minneapolis

“Haus,” Minneapolis

“Strangers,” Belo Horizonte, Brazil

“Serape,” Minneapolis

Detail of “Serape,” Minneapolis

 

 



Art Craft

Patchwork Coats with Frayed Fur Add Shaggy Texture to Barbara Franc's Dog Sculptures

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

Left: “Scottish Deerhound,” 66 x 80 x 20 centimeters. Right: “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters All images © Barbara Franc, shared with permission

Alongside an eccentric metallic menagerie, artist Barbara Franc stitches shaggy hounds with frayed fur and coats layered with assorted patches of prints. The fabric creatures are part of Franc’s collection of animals constructed with repurposed materials that range from buttons and vintage tapestries to windshield wipers and cutlery. To create these soft sculptures, she wraps scraps of worn trousers, curtains, and scarves around a padded, wire armature, defining a muscular hind leg with tweed or a stomach with an embroidered fairytale scene. The tattered edges mimic a tousled tail and the fringe sticking up from an ear, adding lifelike texture to the canines.

If you’re near Towersey, Oxfordshire, this August, Franc is offering a five-day workshop on crafting the textile forms at The Phoenix Studio. The West London-based artist will also have pieces this week at the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead Heath and with Rockwood Group at Bucks Art Weeks slated for June. You can find more of her upcycled characters on her site and Instagram.

 

Detail of “The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“The Haberdasher’s Dog,” 55 x 78 x 24 centimeters

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters

“Shaggy Dog Tale”

Detail of “Shaggy Dog Tale”

“Entre le Chien et le Loup,” or “Twilight Hound,” 58 x 67 x 21 centimeters

 

 



Art Photography

Composed Photographic Works by Kylli Sparre Consider Restriction and Movement

May 2, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Sound of Deniance.” All images © Kylli Sparre, shared with permission

A sense of confinement pervades Kylli Sparre’s most recent photographic works, which center on figures trapped in clear vessels, encircled by narrow pools, or enclosed in empty concrete rooms. These surreal, claustrophobic images depart from Sparre’s otherwise energetic shots that tend to position women and young girls in motion, whether leaping in the air or sprinting through a house trailed by a swath of white fabric. The Tallinn, Estonia-based fine art photographer (previously) tells Colossal that the recurring theme of physically constraining her subjects was unintentional and likely informed by the limitations of the last few years.

In her practice, Sparre continues to explore the possibilities of the medium through digital manipulation, collage, exposure time, and movements that reflect her background in ballet. You can find more of her conceptual photos on her site and Instagram.

 

“Family Portrait”

“Advantages”

“Approach”

“Inhale”

“Moment of Soothe”

“Moving Forward”

“Revival”

“The Calling”

 

 



Art

Evening Sunlight Blankets the Dense Los Angeles Hills in an Ethereal Glow in Seth Armstrong's Paintings

April 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Green” (2021), oil on wood panel, 66 x 66 inches

Los Angeles-based artist Seth Armstrong (previously) gravitates toward saturated palettes of greens and blues to render the steep, hilly landscapes of his hometown. Evening sunsets bathe the staggered houses, trees, and sloping streets in a warm glow, adding a tinge of magic to the densely populated neighborhoods. Balancing light with shadow and hyperrealism with more ethereal details, the oil-based works, while similar in composition and subject matter, rarely follow the same process, Armstrong shares. “Sometimes I rely heavily on a drawing to compose a painting, and sometimes I’ll jump straight into the wet stuff,” he tells Colossal. “I haven’t decided if I prefer a thin and complete underpainting, or if I like just slopping it on, straight up.”

Armstrong has paintings slated for a few upcoming shows, including with Asia Art Center at Jing Art in Beijing this May and this winter at Amsterdam’s Miniature Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. He’s also working on a number of commissions and new works, and you can follow his progress on Instagram.

 

“Lemon Yellow” (2021), oil on wood panel, 60 x 48 inches

“Electric Avenue” (2021), oil on wood panel, 48 x 36 inches

“Pastel Is Punk” (2022), oil on wood panel, 36 x 24 inches

“Braintree” (2021), oil on wood panel, 48 x 60 inches

“Mt. Angelus” (2021), oil on wood panel, 40 x 40 inches

 

 



Art

Web-Like String Installations by Chiharu Shiota Hold Tension Between Absence and Existence

April 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

A profound sense of curiosity and a search for answers consumes Chiharu Shiota’s practice. The Osaka-born, Berlin-based artist is known for her massive installations that crisscross and intertwine string into mesh-like labyrinths. Simultaneously dense in construction and delicate and airy, the site-specific works rely on negative space and a recurring theme of “absence in existence,” Shiota tells Louisiana Channel in a new interview.

Chronicling the artist’s evolution and surveying her works across decades, the short film visits her Berlin studio, where a suspended boat hangs from the ceiling and Shiota shares some childhood paintings. She describes the latter medium as limiting her expression, prompting  her first interactions with string and the concept of “drawing in the air.” The film then follows Shiota to Cisternerne in Copenhagen, where she weaves a web of white string across the pillars filling the eerie space for her ongoing Multiple Realities exhibition, which is on view through November 30.

 

Shiota works with what she terms “philosophies of the moment,” creating sprawling installations designed to elicit visceral reactions from those in their presence. The colors are symbolic, with red conveying relationships between people, black the universe, and white the beginning and purity. “Strings break, get tangled or tied together—just like people cut relationships, get tied together or tangled. It’s very much the same,” she says.

Travel and being “on the move” are when she typically gathers ideas for works, which aren’t sketched before she realizes them fully in their intended space. When an exhibition closes, the strings are cut and discarded, further embodying the conceptual aspects of her practice that meditates on life and death. “What world will there be after your body has disappeared? When I die, and my thoughts and ideas are gone… I wonder what will become of me. I create my works searching for these answers.”

Shiota has pieces on view in cities around the world at the moment, including Paris, Essen, Germany, and Aomori, Japan, and you can see the full list on her site.

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Elegant Tattoos by Expanded Eye Combine Fragmented Figures and Geometric Details into Surreal Compositions

April 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Jade Tomlinson and Kev James, shared with permission

Splashes of primary colors enhance the dotted lines and angular forms that compose Expanded Eye’s tattoos. Artists Jade Tomlinson and Kev James (previously) are behind the distinctly geometric designs that pair foliage and natural matter with architectural constructions and figures: single hands extend with delicate gestures, fragmented faces open to unveil inner dimensions, and stripes, chevrons, and other patterns fill structural elements. The ink-based works are poetic and surreal, with each composition rooted in narratives of consciousness, relationships, and universal human emotions like grief and joy.

Expanded Eye currently tattoos at Lisbon’s Eritage Art Projects, which also has some of the duo’s prints and sculptural assemblages available in its shop. They just completed a window installation for Hermès in Barcelona, in addition to a print series titled Eyesolation, which constructed characters from the cobalt tiles typical in Lisbon. See those works alongside more of their tattoos on Instagram.